This is the third in a series of reviews of the worldviews of leading candidates for the White House as set out in the journal Foreign Affairs. John McCain and Barack Obama have already been featured. Tomorrow our attention turns to Mitt Romney. Today we look at Hillary Clinton's foreign policy priorities: Security and Opportunity for the Twenty-first Century.
America must end the unilateralism of the Bush years: "We had a historic opportunity to build a broad global coalition to combat terror, increase the impact of our diplomacy, and create a world with more partners and fewer adversaries. But we lost that opportunity by refusing to let the UN inspectors finish their work in Iraq and rushing to war instead. Moreover, we diverted vital military and financial resources from the struggle against al Qaeda and the daunting task of building a Muslim democracy in Afghanistan. At the same time, we embarked on an unprecedented course of unilateralism: refusing to pursue ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, abandoning our commitment to nuclear nonproliferation, and turning our backs on the search for peace in the Middle East. Our withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol and refusal to participate in any international effort to deal with the tremendous challenges of climate change further damaged our international standing... U.S. foreign policy must be guided by a preference for multilateralism, with unilateralism as an option when absolutely necessary to protect our security or avert an avoidable tragedy."
Democracy promotion should still be a policy goal: "Gnawing hunger, poverty, and the absence of economic prospects are a recipe for despair. Globalization is widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots within societies and between them. Today, there are more than two billion people living on less than $2 a day. These people risk becoming a vast permanent underclass. Calls for expanding civil and political rights in countries plagued by mass poverty and ruled by tiny wealthy elites will fall on deaf ears unless democracy actually delivers enough material benefits to improve people's lives. The Bush administration's policy in Iraq has temporarily given democracy a bad name, but over the long term the value of democracy will continue to inspire the world."
Regional diplomatic efforts should replace the US military in Iraq: "Ending the war in Iraq is the first step toward restoring the United States' global leadership. The war is sapping our military strength, absorbing our strategic assets, diverting attention and resources from Afghanistan, alienating our allies, and dividing our people. The war in Iraq has also stretched our military to the breaking point. We must rebuild our armed services and restore them body and soul... As we leave Iraq militarily, I will replace our military force with an intensive diplomatic initiative in the region. The Bush administration has belatedly begun to engage Iran and Syria in talks about the future of Iraq. This is a step in the right direction, but much more must be done. As president, I will convene a regional stabilization group composed of key allies, other global powers, and all the states bordering Iraq. Working with the newly appointed UN special representative for Iraq, the group will be charged with developing and implementing a strategy for achieving a stable Iraq that provides incentives for Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey to stay out of the civil war."
Specialised military units will target terrorist threats that emerge in Iraq: "I will order specialized units to engage in targeted operations against al Qaeda in Iraq and other terrorist organizations in the region. These units will also provide security for U.S. troops and personnel in Iraq and train and equip Iraqi security services to keep order and promote stability in the country, but only to the extent that such training is actually working. I will also consider leaving some forces in the Kurdish area of northern Iraq in order to protect the fragile but real democracy and relative peace and security that have developed there, but with the clear understanding that the terrorist organization the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) must be dealt with and the Turkish border must be respected."
Afghanistan is the central front in the war on terror: "The forgotten frontline in the war on terror is Afghanistan, where our military effort must be reinforced. The Taliban cannot be allowed to regain power in Afghanistan; if they return, al Qaeda will return with them. Yet current U.S. policies have actually weakened President Hamid Karzai's government and allowed the Taliban to retake many areas, especially in the south. A largely unimpeded heroin trade finances the very Taliban fighters and al Qaeda terrorists who are attacking our troops. In addition to engaging in counternarcotics efforts, we must seek to dry up recruiting opportunities for the Taliban by funding crop-substitution programs, a large-scale road-building initiative, institutions that train and prepare Afghans for honest and effective governance, and programs to enable women to play a larger role in society."
All options must be on the table in order to prevent a nuclear Iran: "Iran must conform to its nonproliferation obligations and must not be permitted to build or acquire nuclear weapons. If Iran does not comply with its own commitments and the will of the international community, all options must remain on the table. On the other hand, if Iran is in fact willing to end its nuclear weapons program, renounce sponsorship of terrorism, support Middle East peace, and play a constructive role in stabilizing Iraq, the United States should be prepared to offer Iran a carefully calibrated package of incentives. This will let the Iranian people know that our quarrel is not with them but with their government and show the world that the United States is prepared to pursue every diplomatic option."
The US and Russia must significantly reduce nuclear arsenals: "I will seek to negotiate an accord that substantially and verifiably reduces the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals. This dramatic initiative would send a strong message of nuclear restraint to the world, while we retain enough strength to deter others from trying to match our arsenal. I will also seek Senate approval of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by 2009, the tenth anniversary of the Senate's initial rejection of the agreement. This would enhance the United States' credibility when demanding that other nations refrain from testing. As president, I will support efforts to supplement the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Establishing an international fuel bank that guaranteed secure access to nuclear fuel at reasonable prices would help limit the number of countries that pose proliferation risks."
China is America's most important relationship: "Our relationship with China will be the most important bilateral relationship in the world in this century. The United States and China have vastly different values and political systems, yet even though we disagree profoundly on issues ranging from trade to human rights, religious freedom, labor practices, and Tibet, there is much that the United States and China can and must accomplish together. China's support was important in reaching a deal to disable North Korea's nuclear facilities. We should build on this framework to establish a Northeast Asian security regime."
America must not be afraid to talk about its recent mistakes: "To build the world we want, we must begin by speaking honestly about the problems we face. We will have to talk about the consequences of our invasion of Iraq for the Iraqi people and others in the region. We will have to talk about Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib."
We must build goodwill in the world by fighting poverty: "The fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other dreaded diseases is both a moral imperative and a practical necessity. These diseases have created a generation of orphans and set back economic and political progress by decades in many countries."
America will become a leader on climate change and gain economically as a result: "We must also take threats and turn them into opportunities. The seemingly overwhelming challenge of climate change is a prime example. Far from being a drag on global growth, climate control represents a powerful economic opportunity that can be a driver of growth, jobs, and competitive advantage in the twenty-first century. As president, I will make the fight against global warming a priority. We cannot solve the climate crisis alone, and the rest of the world cannot solve it without us. The United States must reengage in international climate change negotiations and provide the leadership needed to reach a binding global climate agreement. But we must first restore our own credibility on the issue. Rapidly emerging countries, such as China, will not curb their own carbon emissions until the United States has demonstrated a serious commitment to reducing its own through a market-based cap-and-trade approach."
Too many human rights have been compromised during the Bush years: "The world we want is also a world where human rights are respected. By surrendering our values in the name of our safety, the Bush administration has left Americans wondering whether its rhetoric about freedom around the world still applies back home. We have undercut international support for fighting terrorism by suggesting that the job cannot be done without humiliation, infringements on basic rights to privacy and free speech, and even torture. We must once again make human rights a centerpiece of U.S. foreign policy and a core element of our conception of democracy."
More must be done to promote women's rights in US foreign policy: "U.S. leadership, including a commitment to incorporate the promotion of women's rights in our bilateral relationships and international aid programs, is essential not just to improving the lives of women but to strengthening the families, communities, and societies in which they live."